Running with Scissors

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Jenessa OrpillaSummer Assignment
AP PsychologyMovies and Mental Disorders

Running with Scissors is a film adaption of a memoir written by Augusten Burroughs. It takes place in the 1970s where young Augusten lives with a dysfunctional family; an alcoholic father and a delusional poet. After his parents’ divorce, his mother, Deidre Burroughs goes to see a psychiatrist named Dr. Finch. Incapable of raising Augusten, Deidre gives custody of her son to Dr. Finch, where he deals with an even more dysfunctional family.

Deidre Burroughs is a poet who believes that she is meant to become a famous writer/poet. She enters many of her poems to several magazines and newsletters, only to be rejected each time. Each rejection letter she receives, she still believes that she is a talented writer. Nearing the end of her marriage with Norman Burroughs, she believed that he was going to kill her and her son. Dr. Finch was the one who recommended them to divorce and gave Deidre her first medications. This was the beginning of her drug abuse. Later on in the movie, she would mix pills together. He also advised her to give him custody of Augusten so that she could focus on her writing career. She got into several relationships with other women including a local minister’s wife and a patient from Dr. Finch.

According to the DSM-IV-TR, Deidre is diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is described as a person who “demands and expects to be admired and praised by others and is limited in their capacity to appreciate others' perspectives.” (DSM-TR-IV, 1995-2012) One of the signs of NPR is one that “has a grandiose sense of self-importance.” (Zimbardo & Gerrig, 1999, pg. 662) Two years after her divorce with her husband, she sees him at a restaurant with his new fiancée. She was very proud of the fact that her poem was published in little-known magazine and that her ‘hobby’ was quite lucrative, even...
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